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minister's question time live from the british house of commons. every wednesday while parliament is in session, prime minister david cameron takes questions from members of the house of commons. prior to question time the house is wrapping up other business. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> we are at long last bring it under control. >> national statistics, when it's quite clear that country -- why has the government not categorize the government's gambling a something that was in a 2005 gambling act? >> as the honorable gentleman ought to know, the office of national statistics is a non-ministry of government department which is statutory independence norm ministers. >> will my right honorable
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friend assure that the cabinet office keeps a proper record of all the circumstances in which collective ministerial responsibility is set aside so that we can have some transparency in relation to their protests? >> mr. speaker, i will ensure that the records are meticulously kept. >> order. questions to the prime minister. >> number one. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house i shall have further such meetings later today. >> in thanking my right honorable friend for the answer, and in having given my right honorable friend notice of my question which you may find particularly useful in the sense of its fair and transparent, and it's also very modern, cannot right honorable friend say that in response to the many concerns
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expressed in yesterday's debate will be ensure that civil partnerships are open to heterosexual couples on an equal basis with homosexual couples? >> i'm very grateful to my honorable friend, and also for giving me notice of his question. i listen carefully to what he says but, frankly, i'm a marriage man. i'm a great supporter of marriage. i want to promote marriage, defend marriage, encourage marriage. in the great thing about last night's vote is that today people who love each other will now be able to get married and i think that's important advance. i think we should be promoting marriage rather than looking at any other way of weakening it. >> ed miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, i want to ask the prime minister about the bedroom back. allison has 18 year-old twin sons were both in the army. the prime ministers bedroom packed means well her sons are away, she would charge more for the bedroom? she says i resent the fact that
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both my sons are serving and protecting their country had been returned will not have a home to come home to when the granted a much-needed leave. what is the prime minister's answer? >> first of all, let me make clear, this is not a tax. this is a benefit. and i would make two points. i would make two points in respect to this specific case that he raises. first of all, all the time and labour was in government, if you were in a private sector rented home and you in receipt of housing benefits, you did not get any benefit for empty rooms but i think that is important. so it is only fai that we treat people in social housing the same way. the second point i'd make is that anyone is away from home, and, obviously, the earnings are not counted and, therefore, the benefits of that person are likely to go up. >> ed miliband.
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>> mr. speaker, i look forward to them explaining to allison why her paying 25 pounds a week more from april is not a tax on her. [shouting] >> and as for his point, and as for his point about the private renters have to, i think he misunderstands the point of social housing. after this purpose, part of this purpose is to protect the most vulnerable. and according to the governments own figures, and according to the governments own figures, two-thirds of the people hit are disabled. let me tell the prime minister about an e-mail i received last week. it says my wife is disabled, has a degenerative condition and is therefore in bed. the gentleman goes on, due to illness, l. medical condition, i usually sleep in the spare bedroom. why is it fair for him and hundreds of thousands of others of disabled people like him to be hit by the bedroom attacks? >> first of all as with every honorable member, if he wants me or the department of working
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pensions to look at a specific case, of course i will. let me again make some detailed points to him. first of all, it is a 15 million pounds fund to deal with difficult cases. but let me also make the basic argument of fairness that he seems to miss. if you are in private rented housing and received no housing benefit, you don't get money for an extra room. if you are in private housing and to get housing benefit, you don't get money for an extra room. so there's a basic argument of fairness. why should we be doing more for people on social housing benefit and people in private housing on housing benefit? and there's one additional point that frankly, thank you he has got to engaging. the housing benefit bill is now 23 billion pounds a year. now, we know that he is against capping welfare. we know he is against restricting welfare for below the rate of increase in wages.
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we know all the things he is against. we are beginning to wonder what on earth he is for. >> he is spending more than 8 billion pounds more than he planned on housing benefit because his economic failure during this time. and i just say to him, the whole point of social housing is to protect families, including the disabled. now, it doesn't sound like he's going to do anything for military families or the disabled, but let's talk about a group of people he is moved by. i have here a letter sent on his behalf by the conservative party treasurer about the so-called mansion tax, and it says this. we promise that no tax will be introduced during the course of this parliament. and it goes on, to keep a taxman out of your home, please help by donating today and supporting the no home tax campaign. can the prime minister explain
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what is it about the plight of those people he finds so much more compelling than those hit by the bedroom tax? >> it is in favor of a mansion tax. why didn't he introduce one in the 13 years in government? if you so passionate about social housing in why didn't he build any when he was in government? and if he thinks that we're spending too much on housing benefit, ma he just said the bill is going up, why did he oppose each and every attempt we make to get the welfare bill under control? the fact is the public can see we are on the side of people who work hard and want to do the right thing. all he can ever do is spend more money. >> i do say to the prime minister he shouldn't get so heads up. i mean, after all, after all he's got nearly half his parliamentary party behind him. [laughter] now, now, now the policy, now
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the policy, mr. speaker, the policy isn't just unfair. it's not going to work either. 4700 people are going to be hit by the bedroom tax. there are just 73 council properties for them to move to. can the prime minister explain how exactly that's going to work? >> what this government is doing is actually building more houses and controlling welfare bills. but, frankly, the question is one that he has won to do. if he opposes the welfare kept him if he opposes restrictions on increased welfare, if he opposes reform of disability benefits, if he opposes each and every welfare change we make, how on earth is he going to get control of spending? >> ed miliband. >> for clues in the title, prime minister's question. is supposed to try to answer the question. i saw what he might say.
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clearly doesn't understand. what h device is moved to the private rented sector because there are not enough private counsel for people. but this is where, but this is where -- [shouting] but this is where, i like when he gets up to say what those people should do. but the policy is supposed to save money, and this is where it's not going to work out. another woman who wrote to me, diane, says my rent for my family home -- [shouting] >> i don't -- i don't know why they're groaning, mr. speaker. there are thousands of their constituents will be hit by this. another woman who wrote to me, diane, says adequate, my rent for my family home is up present 65 pounds 68. we are the one bedroom and the private sector would cost over 100 pounds. thank you how can it possibly make sense to force people into a situation where it costs the state more not less by moving to
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the private rented sector? >> what this government is doing is building more homes. if he supports that, will he now support our changes to the planning system? will he support the new homes bonus? will he support the things that will get more homes build and get more people into jobs? because of course with 1 million extra people working in the private sector. that is what he is got to engaging. he's got absolutely no suggestion for how to get on top of welfare, get our deficit down, get our economy moving, or frankly do anything else. >> ed miliband. >> so today we discover he hasn't even got a clue about his own policy that he is introduced here and his answers today remind us what his party and the country are saying about him. the only people are a small group of rich and powerful people. that's what he is come up a policy that is unworkable and unfair. is a prime minister who is weak,
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incompetent, and totally out of touch. >> totally pathetic rubbish that we get used to every wednesday. and on the issue, on the issue of who listens to do, i have a very clear idea of who he listens to. because we heard in the al as he lecture by le lynn mccluskey. and len mccluskey said this. he says i met ed miliband and he asked me this question that this is the question he asked him. lynn, if you had three wishes, three things you would like us to do, if we got back into power, what would you like them to be? and len mccluskey's answer, trade union, freedom, trade union, freedom, trade union, freedom. that is who he wants to be the fairy godmother to. >> here, here.
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>> at the time of the strategic defense security review, two and half years ago, my right honorable friend said my own strong view is that the structure will require year on year real terms growth in the defense budget in the years beyond 2015. does that remain his view, and has he heard any similar view expressed by the leader of the opposition? >> it does remain my view but i'm afraid to say as far as i can say i am the only party leader who believes that in the years beyond this parliament we should be increasing defense spending in the way that he says it. but the good news is, for all those who care about this issue, that it is agreed government policy that the defense equipment program does need real terms increases up to, after 2015. and that's are important for us to be able to plan the exception of equipment program that we have that is going to give us some of the best equipped armed forces anywhere in the world.
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>> mr. speaker, the budget for office responsibility, the office for budget responsibility rather, tells us it's the bankers will pay 500 million pounds less for the bankers. the prime minister promised last year, yet again in april he reflects a 500 million pounds cut in the poorest to the second empty bedroom tax. how can he justify taking from the poor and giving to the rich? >> it's an important point which was we have introduced the bank levy. we think there's a better answer than one off bonus tax. of course, the bank levy will be paid every year. so it will raise considerably more than a one off a bonus tax. what my right honorable friend has done when the bank levy hasn't come up to the figures that we require is likely to increase the bank levy to make sure that it does.
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>> sir james pays. >> kincan i remind the house ofy declared interest. to martha prime minister will go quite rightly too argued for a substantial reduction in funding. will he ensure that any reductions the does apply to farmers right across europe and not just in the uk? would also make sure that he doesn't fall into the trap made by a fallen into by his predecessor in 2005 last time round so when pressing for cuts in the with the cut to the one part that everybody thinks is worthwhile, which is cuts to the road of a program and the environment? >> spend my right honorable friend speaks very knowledgeably about this but these are going to be extremely difficult negotiations, and, obviously, our aim as i said this was a significant cut that is spoken about. i think the point he makes about agriculture is important. particularly about the flexibility that we require to make sure things like the rural develop a program can continue to succeed.
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>> we know the prime minister has met lots of millionaires, but has he ever met anyone who will lose their home because of his bedroom tax? >> i hold constituency hearings and i listened all the cases that lead of the opposition has today. i have are a of price norse -- in my constituents aren't many families living in my constituency. but what they said to me as they want a government that is on the side people who work hard and do the right thing. and they support the fact that we are capping welfare, we're getting on top of immigration, cleaning up the mess left by her party. >> thank you, mr. speaker. today is the united nations international day on zero-tolerance for mutilation. does the transcript we would be that britain should be doing all it can to combat this dreadful abuse of the human rights, women and girls, overseas than here in the uk? >> here, here. >> i completely agree with honorable lady and she's right
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to raise this. the government has made some progress on this appalling them looking right across, over would you overseas in terms of our aid program and trying to prevent the horrific female genital mutilation. but also to make sure here that the crown prosecution service and others are aware of the law and do everything they can to make sure it's properly prosecuted. >> michael mccann. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can the prime minister confirm that our courts have cleared -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> that is not, that is not a constituency case that's come my way. [laughter] but all i can say is i hope it's going to gender a great host of understanding of these events amongst all our people and i hope that it will be a great boost to the great city of lester. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this week announced the work of the services is moving to
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newcastle, is the latest in a long series of similar announcements affecting the valley, including the closure of our office by the previous government. will the prime minister looked to bring extra work to the office in stock and moving another public sector agency to the east valley? >> i will look very carefully of what my honorable friend says but what i would say is of course we want to make sure that public sector jobs are fairly distributed around the country but we have to be frank, the real need for our economy is a rebalancing with growth and the private sector to make up for the fact that public sector jobs have declined. it should be looked over the last two and half years the million extra private sector jobs has more than offset the decline in private sector, -- in public sector unemployment and that's why we concede unemployment falling around the country. >> the prime minister may not be aware of the opinion poll by the bbc in northern ireland which shows all of the six counties of
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northern ireland there is now a clear majority in favor of the union because people right across northern ireland recognize that when it comes to being part of this united kingdom, we are better off together. i sometimes try to avoid opinion polls i haven't seen that one. but it looks like one that is, will lift the spirits of almost everyone in this house. because we believe in the united kingdom, and we believe in northern ireland being part of the united kingdom. >> can the prime minister reassure this house that he still believes in increasing spending on the nhs, making sure that those funds go to the front lines doctors and nurses to the frontline of our services to a concert to give my honorable friend that assurance but that is what we committed to increase nhs spending during this parliament for each year in this parliament and we are on course to do that. crucially we do want to make sure the money goes to frontline and that is why the number of
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managers and of administrators in our nhs is right down, and the number of clinical staff is right up. >> thank you, mr. speaker. was at the double dip recession, the soda and deficit reduction of the projected 60% increase in national debt over the next five years that led prime minister -- full confidence in his chancellor? >> i have confidence in the chance or. the deficit is down 25%. there are a million extra private sector jobs and we are cleaning up made by the party opposite. >> [inaudible] building a new hospital in which local hospital services were decimated. can i, too, say -- [inaudible] >> i think on this day particularly when we are about to discuss what happened at the hospital, i think it is a day to talk about the importance of
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care and their health care service, the importance of the frontline, and importance above all of are looking at quality and listening to patients. so under this government of course resources have been constrained for all the reasons we discussed across, weekend we got but we did make a conscious choice to put more money into the nhs and to get that to the frontline. that is why there are 5900 more doctors and there are 19,000 fewer nonclinical staff. the money is going into the frontline but the focus needs to be on the quality and the patients. >> can ask the prime minister if he shares this parties concerned, and -- will he assure me and as part of the government support to raise awareness of issues and work with the administrations across to tackle the scourge across great britain and northern ireland? >> first of all can i commend the honorable gentleman and the democratic unions for bringing
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this motion forward, bringing this issue forward. the whole issue of suicide is one that we often don't talk enough about, address enough about in our society come in a country and i think it's right to do so. it's a shocking statistic that in northern ireland almost six times the number of people killed in road traffic accidents are lost to suicide or to raising awareness to this in making sure there's a proper cross government strategy to help people deal with this is vitally important and they are right to raise up. >> as a result of the financial mess the labour government left the country, -- [shouting] >> local council -- spins order your calm down. we have a lot of questions to get too. i intend to get through them. let's have a bit of order for mr. john leech spill the local council has faced a budget settlement as most of the government departments but so
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does the prime minister share my dismay that the council is choosing to close -- [inaudible] to while at the same time have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on an alicia key concert and leaves 109 reserves sitting in the back? >> my honorable friend makes an important point. of course, councils face difficult spending decisions, but if you look at the level of spending and the level of grothus in many cases it's going to what they would getting under the less government. obviously, the economy has declined since then, so we have to cut our cloth accordingly but they should be held accountable for the decision that they may pick and in some cases there can be little doubt that councils are making high profile cuts to try to make a point, and they shouldn't be damaging people's livelihood. they should be doing the best for their cities. >> will be prime minister confirm for the record that
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thanks to his cuts to the charter on of the working tax credit families and children are losing up to 1500 pounds a year? >> what has happened under the tile -- child tax credit is we've increased by 390 pounds in the early budgets of this government. and if you look at the benefits for a two parent to child family, they would be getting over 1500 pounds, and extra this year, 30 pounds a week, compared to 2010. so i'm afraid the honorable gentleman is wrong. >> will be prime minister a tribute to the new president of somalia whose government has made remarkable progress over the last few months? they still have a long way to go. will he agree that the somali piece process is a really good example of britain combining aid and development with energizing the neighboring states and the diplomatic committee worldwide? can he tell the house what role does he envision for the
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somalians here in the uk speak as i think my honorable friend makes a very good point. and anyone wanting to the relevance of somalia to here in the uk, we have to remember that this country has been the author of huge amounts of problems from terrorism, piracy, mass migration, and even to the most argued a skeptic of our aid budget i would say this is a really good case. whercase. where engagement come at them and diplomacy can help the country to mend itself for the future. in terms of the ds for i hope they will give civil -- full support of the new president who is damaging huge group in this country at many of the problems that have doubled of that country for so long. >> prime minister's career probably heat when he was a backbench member of the affairs committee in 2005. could he revive his progressive courage of that time when he looks at the report from the all party group about the awful
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problem of new grants that are on the market but are not controlled in any way? >> well, i'm afraid of the honorable gentleman's feels my career trajectory, and i won't ask you about his -- [laughter] will have an agreement about it afterward but i think that report that i worked on i did learn some important lessons from that, which is i think the priority we should do in terms of attacking drugs, and education and treatment i think those are the obsolete to key arms would need to be done but it don't believe we should be legalizing any drugs that are currently illegal. and in terms of current legal height, and, indeed, problems relating to the last special election like cacti i think we need to look for every catholic of evidence that what will work best. >> over 80,000 people have benefited from our policy of raising the threshold.
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and this morning the iss confirmed that this policy is right, and those who have the broadest shoulders are burying the greatest burden of tax. in light of this, will the government commit to raising the threshold of the people who pay taxes to 10,000 pounds in this budget? >> can i think the honorable lady for what she said. she's absolute right, which is raising the threshold for which people start to pay tax i think has been absolutely right. what man is someone on minimum wage working full-time, their tax bill has been cut by one half and i think it is a huge change to help people who work hard, want to do the right thing, and it's the this government that is reporting them. she mentions the green budget at this point. i haven't had that much time to study about one thing did stand out which is on the issue of
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fairness it's as this, the whole set of tax and benefit changes introduced between the start of 2010 and 2015-16 to hit the richest households hardest. this government is fair but it is helping the hardest working. >> the leader of opposition asked the prime minister a very simple question to which he gave no adequate reply, so i will ask it again. what is the difference between a bedroom tax and disabled and the mansion tax? >> i don't accept that the bedroom tax is a tax but it is an issue about benefit on the fact is as a country we're spending 23 billion pounds on housing benefit. now, we have to have a debate in this country, and the last government said would have to have a debate in this country about getting on top of housing benefit. indeed, it's featured in the labour manifesto. the manifesto on which they were all elected. since they've moved to the opposition benches they have
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given up all sense of that responsibility at all. >> can the prime minister reconcile his recent comments on the need to accelerate major infrastructure projects for the government's decision to postpone a policy on airports until after the next election? will be reconsidered and bring that review forward? >> i will listen very careful to what my girlfriend said. i think you'll find if you looks at what and how davis said in terms of his review, he said this is a very propagated issue that merits proper examination that will take time. we need is a country to make major decisions about airport and airport capacity. we should be aiming as far as is possible to try to make these decisions on a cross party basis, and i hope that our davis report will help that to happen. >> last night, trying to last night's vote on same-sex marriage is widely regarded as a
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historic vote. does the prime minister agree with me it's a tribute to all the people in all parties and no party, behind the scenes and in public who have worked for such equality? and does the prime minister agree with me that the vote proves that the heart is bending slowly but it bends towards justice? >> i agree very much with the honorable lady. i think the last night's vote will be seen not just as making sure there is a proper element of equality but also helping us to build a stronger and fair society. i thought many of the speeches made last night were very moving, very emotional and i would pay tribute to all those people who actually made this case, some of them for many, many years, saying that they want their love to count the same way that a man and woman's love for each other counts. that is what we have open out in this country and that is why i'm proud that it is at hi
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